Listen and observe

News | December 18, 2022

The theme of this year’s Advent devotion is: Do you see what I see? An array of St. Paul voices selected a photo or photos that hold very special memories to them, then sat down and reflected on what that photo means to them. What do they see and remember that others may not when looking at this photo? Through their words and stories, hopefully, you’ll see a little of what they see.

Growing up, time after school was spent doing homework and then going outside or playing quietly inside. Between 5:30 and 6 p.m., the table was set, and supper preparations were finished so everything was set to go when dad got home.

My mother was a piano teacher. For as long as I can remember, her afternoons were spent teaching her students how to interpret lines, symbols, and squiggles. She taught them to see pitch, duration, tempo, and style from a staff, notes, and other musical notations and translate them into marvelous sounds. She and her students could look at a sheet of music and hear melody and harmony, and with a piano, share it with others. Alas, I lack the coordination and dexterity to play piano, but I can read music.

In the season of Advent, we prepare for the coming of Jesus. God sent Him to us to help us see God’s vision for us. The creator of all that is sent a teacher we could see, hear, and understand. We no longer had to look in awe and confusion at creation. We no longer had to interpret what the prophets were telling us. Here was a human who spoke like us, and with actions and teachings explained how God wants us to live. We don’t have to learn to interpret arcane symbols and signs, just listen to and observe Jesus.

Craig Willi and his wife Marcia live in Davenport. Craig works as a chemist and Marcia is a homemaker. They have three grown children, five grandchildren, two dogs, and three cats.

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